While we have come so far, blazing forward with the information that Autistic people need to be heard. We have also hit brick walls trying to create these ‘inroads’ to listening within our own community of Autism ‘stakeholders.’ When I say stakeholders I naturally refer to Autistic people, parents and loved ones of Autistic people and the professionals working within the Autism ‘industry.’ I specifically place these stakeholders; within the ranks of Autism into this order. Autistic people first, parents/family/friends second and professionals; making a living third.
AutismHWY believes this stakeholder order-shift is correct and crucial to the future of Autism and Autistic people. Parents and professionals that have heretofore defined Autism are being told those definitions were never on point. They are being told that they need to step down a rung or two in the reigning order of Autism dialogue. This causes resistance, denial and major deflection. Non Autistic stakeholders that have enjoyed the privilege of running the Autism ‘services and possibilities industries’ without Autistic people are being TOLD to be inclusive and they don’t seem too happy about it.
What could be more confusing and ironic than THAT? Non Autistic, Autism stakeholders continuing to “speak for and over Autistic people” after being told repeatedly that they (Autistic people) can and will speak for themselves?
A prime example of NOT FACILITATING COMMUNICATION….loudly and clearly.
It goes completely against all common sense. Non Autistic people should be supporting Autistic people to be exactly who they are by honoring their communications. Not using the Autism “R” word on them when they ask for respect. The fact that Autistic people are struggling to be heard by the stakeholders within their own “community” proves one thing. It is NOT truly their community. If it were, these non Autistic stakeholders would be elated by the communications coming from Autistic people all over the internet and in real life. They would be working as furiously as they could to implement Autistic insider knowledge into REAL Autism futures, programs and successes.
Yet we don’t see that? Instead we see people continuing to control the conversation by focusing on the discord this shift in hierarchy causes. Decrying a ‘growing intolerance of one another, our differences, & growing biases of anger/resentments.’ Never talking about the actual issues of concern JUST the tone, volume and temperature of the conversations about the concerns. (?) I wonder how people pointing to this ‘bias of anger, intolerance and resentment’ within ‘Autism’s global community’ believe it was grown to begin with?
It was grown through cultivating years of omission. By professionals and parents being considered the only source for Autism information. By the creation of harmful practices purporting to help Autistic people. By many parents and professionals jockeying for money and attention while actively ignoring the words coming from #ActuallyAutistic people themselves. By the use of the Autism R -word to minimize and silence Autistic people. That’s one wicked garden I can readily trace…
If Autism stakeholders genuinely seek to expand and enroll outsiders to be more accepting of Autistic people…MORE parents and professionals will step down from their high horse to listen. Listen to the Autistic people they have misguidedly believed are silent or incapable of communications. People that speak volumes in ways hard to comprehend for those that don’t actively listen with all that they are.
The Autism “R” WORD is RADICAL!
Sadly, It is in fact RADICAL to expect equality for the masses of growing numbers of Autistics & those of us who love them.
Resistant people can STOP dragging their feet by continuing to control the Autism conversation using the “R” word against Autistic activist’s that push the change envelope we see shifting…